by Apex Publications LLC
Apex Publications LLC zine ISBN/ITEM#: APEX03
Date: Autumn 2005 /
Apex Science Fiction & Horror Digest - Vol. 1: Issue 3 - Autumn 2005
Table of Contents: Fiction: The Karst by M.M. Buckner | Accountant: Life on the Streets by Bryn Sparks | Big Sister/Little Sister by Jennifer Pelland | The Meateaters by Sue Lange | Heroes, All by Steven Fisher | Upgrade by Artie Nolan | Human Resources by Christopher Stires | Trees of Bone by Daliso Chaponda | Little Black Boxes by Barbara Geiger | Alexandria and Nebs by William R. Eakin | Nonfiction: Apex Book Reviews | Apex Essays | Apex Interview | Parting Shot | Artist Bios
I had not read Apex Digest until I received a review copy in the mail. Like many small press magazines, it includes a couple of stories by writers with extensive professional credits and is filled out by new writers who have been published by small presses or have been finalists for L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future competition.
The cover highlights M.M. Buckner and William R. Eakin and those are the writers with the most professional credits. "The Karst" by M.M. Buckner rated a very good from me. It is set in a future Kentucky where a man must decide whether to report a mineral find or not when the revelation will hurt the people who live in the area. Buckner gives us a good little ending to the story. I was a bit disappointed in William R. Eakin's "Alexandria and Nebs". It starts out well as a conversation between the title characters but the end is not very interesting. A third writer has one professional credit and provides the magazine with its best story. "Trees of Bone" by Daliso Chaponda is set in a future Burundi, still haunted by the violence of the late twentieth century. It gives us a look into African culture and provides a truly haunting ending. I think Chaponda is a writer to watch and I'm sure we will see more from him in the future.
"The Meateaters" by Sue Lange is a darkly humorous tale of a future which is a vegan's nightmare. In "Heroes, All" by Steven Fisher, an alien race has (apparently) conquered Earth and is using its technology to take over the bodies and minds of famous people in Earth's history. What can Earth do about it? Well, it depends on the famous people picked for the process. "Upgrade" by Artie Nolan is an amusing little short-short about problems with upgrading intelligence. All these also rated a very good from me.
"Accountant: Life on the Streets" by Bryn Sparks is another satirical tale of a future with implants and modifications to people. In this world, an accountant's life can be a hazardous one. This is a wild tale but not for the easily offended. "Human Resources" by Christopher Stires tells of a strange outcome to a job interview. I liked both these stories. The only story that I did not care much for was "Little Black Boxes" by Barbara Geiger, a pointless tale about defeating an alien enemy. There was one more short story under the title "Parting Shot...". Its actual title was "Within the Darkness" by K.A. Patterson and seems to be another 'fighting aliens' story but one with a surprising ending.
Do I recommend the magazine? Well, I give it a qualified "Yes" if you like a mixture of science fiction and horror. The Daliso Chaponda story alone is almost enough to make the issue worth buying. The rest of the stories are enough to make it a sure thing.
(Source: Apex Publications LLC)